Gates carjacking murder suspect, 16, wanted for stealing cars in Florida

Edgar Tolentino (right), and Anthony Jacobs (left). Photo: Gates Police Department . Edgar Tolentino (right), and Anthony Jacobs (left).

Berkeley Brean
Updated: May 04, 2021 07:26 PM
Created: May 03, 2021 06:08 PM

GATES, N.Y. (WHEC) — Edgar Tolentino, one of the 16-year-olds accused of murdering Richard Sciascia during an attempted carjacking on April 7, is wanted for stealing two cars near Tampa, Florida a month before the murder.

“This is going to be lengthy. Get your pens ready,” Gates Police Chief Jim Vanbrederode said at a news conference Monday. 

At a news conference Monday, the chief laid out the timeline of Tolentino prior to and just after the murder of Sciascia.

February: Edgar Tolentino went to Hillsborough County, Florida, with an 18-year-old girl, to visit family.

Feb. 28: Tolentino is accused of stealing a car from a seller he lured to a Walmart parking lot. Police say he stole a Toyota after asking to take the car on a test drive.

March 4: Tolentino is accused of doing it again, this time stealing a Mercedes Benz from an unsuspecting seller at a Walmart parking lot. 

March 8: The sheriff's office in Tampa, Hillsborough County, charge Tolentino with grand theft auto but by then police say he was driving back up to New York.

March 15, Batavia: A black infinity with tinted windows is stolen from a seller using the same method as the Florida cases.

Chief Jim Vanbrederode, Gates PD: “He also left behind that Mercedes Benz that he stole from Florida. He left that in Genesee County.”

At the same time, police say they start recording car thefts in Livingston County

The carjackings in Monroe County started on March 28.

On April 7, sometime after 9 a.m., police say two women report people in a black car with tinted windows trying to talk to them about a flat tire. Police say that was one of the techniques used to get people out of their car so it could be stolen.

At 10:10 a.m., 911 reports a reckless driver in a black car with tinted windows on Long Pond at Ridge Road in Greece.

At 10:41 a.m., police say Tolentino and Anthony Jacobs murdered Richard Sciascia after they tried to steal his car on Buell Road. 

Security camera video obtained by News10NBC showed a black Infiniti with tinted windows on Buell Road four minutes after the shooting. 

That night police found the black Infiniti after a chase in the city. Police say it contained evidence linked to the murder.

On April 9, police say Tolentino was stopped and arrested driving into Livingston County. 

VanBrederode: "After the Gates job, I can say there have been no more of these carjackings occurring out in the suburbs."

Police held Tolentino because of the warrants in Florida. 

On April 22, Gates Police charged Tolentino with murder.

Police say they gave the Jacobs family the next six days to turn him in.

Last Thursday, Gates Police posted Jacobs's photo and said he was wanted

Friday, Jacobs showed up at Gates Police with his mother.

VanBrederode: "it was done because they were backed up into a corner and she realized the best thing she could do for the good of her family was to turn him over to police."

The 16-year-olds are in custody. 

One after one Monday, police chiefs, sheriffs and town supervisors came to the podium and said parts of criminal justice reform are not working.

They say there are 2,000 parolees in the Rochester area and 30 to 40 are missing, or absconded, in the city every day. 

They also say there are no services for teenagers who get arrested and released. 

The issue is complicated.

But the story of a 17-year-old girl arrested for being in a stolen car with loaded guns can tell part of it. 

The arrest happened in Gates two days after the shooting of Richard Sciascia on Buell Road.

The 17-year-old girl was one of three juveniles in the car. 

Because of her age, the 17-year-old was released from the Juvenile Detention Center. 

Chief Deputy Michael Fowler, Monroe County Sheriff's Office: "She gets released a few days later. But guess what? There's nobody there to take her."

Police learned she was a runaway from Westchester County. But the law said she had to be let go. 

Fowler: "She calls a friend from the streets of Rochester and they come and get her. Released to anybody, a 17-year-old female is now back on the streets hanging out with the same gang she was riding with just a few weeks earlier when she was arrested in Gates."

The Sheriff's Office says the person who picked her up at 11 o'clock at night was 19 years old. A missing person report was filed in Westchester County. The sheriff's office found the 17-year-old, but the sheriff's office says she refused to go home and they couldn't force her.

Wednesday, Brean shared the police concerns with people who fought for the reform.

Jill Paperno is second in command at the Public Defender's Office. 

Paperno: "Police have been expressing concerns about bail reform and other reforms during the pendency of the legislation."

She said bail reform stopped the jailing of people who stayed locked up because they couldn't afford bail.

Paperno: "We are seeing people released on low-level offenses who used to lose jobs, sometimes the custody of their children would be jeopardized. Sometimes their homes."

Brean: "The police are making the correlation between criminal justice reform and some of the violence we're seeing in our community. And to that, you would say what?"

She said we hear the argument after high-profile cases.

Paperno:  "And yet the bail reform statute provides for the opportunity for judges on violent felonies and certain non-violent felonies to hold people on those charges."

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